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XBL Radio Review: “The Club” (X360)

To tell you the truth, I am the type of gamer who sometimes just loves to play a mindless game, with no story, that is alot of fun. That is the type of game that The Club is down to the T, and to be honest with you, there is nothing wrong with a little mindless, third-person shooting fun every once in awhile.

Let us get right into the review:

First of all, as I said earlier, there is no in-depth story, with richly detailed characters, who develop over time in The Club. The concept is that you are a participant in a Tournament that takes place in 8 different locations, and has up to 6 rounds in each location. It basically plays out like a Mariokart game, but instead of racing go-karts, you shoot everything in sight round after round, and accumulate points as you go, leaving who has the most points at the end of each round the winner, and whoever has the most points at the end of all of the rounds declared the winner of that specific tournament. A basic and simple concept, but in all honestly, it works out pretty well, and keeps the game moving at faster pace than most other shooters out there today.

The graphics are not superb, but there not bad. All of the 8 different characters are nicely detailed, and each one of them has their own attitude that is represented very well by the clothes that they wear, and the facial expressions that they make. The environments however, are simple, not full of much detail, and do not offer that much in the way of exploration. Every once in awhile you will come across a secret area, with a Skullshot (point booster) for you to shoot, but that is about it.

The gameplay and entertainment value of this game is the meat and potatoes of where this game shines. The modes that you play are not always kill everything in sight, and running to the end of the goal as fast as possible. There are also modes in which you have to stay withing a certain area, for a certain amount of time, and survive the onslaught of enemies that come out at you (Survivor). Or you can also race through the level, to the exit, as fast as possible, while killing enemies to add time to the clock along the way (Time attack), You can also go from the beginning to the end of a level, shooting down enemies, and adding points to your score as you go (Sprint). Each of one these event types is fun to play, and easy to understand. There are a few weapons to choose from, including rocket launchers, machine guns, shotguns, etc., all of which are standards of the shooter genre, and do add some variety in how they affect each one of the modes in the game, but are nothing spectacular.

Controls are about as simple as it gets. You shoot with the Right Trigger, precision aim with the Left Trigger, and perform dodging moves, or break down walls with the A button.  Even though there is no variety to the controls, they are simple to understand, and honestly, I am all about simplicity in control schemes for these types of games.

There is a little bit of replay value in this game, but not much, After you finish the Tournament, you can either participate in the Single Event mode, in which you can play each event one at a time. Or you can create a playlist of these events in the Gunplay mode. There is also a Multiplayer feature that allows you to play with up to 8 players( that is the most i played against at least) in a few different modes such as Team Deathmatch, Hunter (King of the Hill), and Free for all Deathmatch. They are nice additions, and fun to play, but other than playing through each of them to earn achievements, or to gain bragging rights, there is no reason to play any of these modes more than once. There are also Skullshot targets that you can shoot out in each level to add a multiplier to your score, but it does not unlock anything, so they are not really all that necessary to shoot.

In the end, I would have to say that I had a great amount of fun playing this game, even though the experience was short lived. The tournament and multiplayer modes were fun for awhile, but once you play through every event in each one of these modes, you have seen everything that this game has to offer.  The fact of the matter is, a game like this can still be a fun experience, even if  it is lacking in some aspects of other games that have made the shooter genre popular over the years.

My verdict: If you are someone who enjoys playing mindless games sometimes, and can find this title at a cheap price used, then pick it up, you will not be disappointed, otherwise, just leave this game alone.

Overall Score: B-

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